LACHOUT, Martin, ed. Towards a More Specialised European Framework for (Self-) Assessing Language Competencies.

1. vyd. Praha: Metropolitan University Prague Press, 2012. 313 s. ISBN 978-80-86855-85-1

The current publication contains the output of a multilateral international research project financially supported by the European Union within the Grundtvig projects framework.

Our goal has been to determine how competent students from participating universities are when it comes to working with specialized texts. The participants have included Metropolitan University Prague, as the main investigator, The Technical University of Košice and Academia de Studii Economice Bucureşti. Specialized language was not selected randomly, but rather for its linguistic distinctiveness and its extraordinary importance in both the education and subsequent everyday professional communication for students in non-philological disciplines.

Investigators have focused on two language skill categories, the productive skill of writing and the receptive skill of reading a specialized text. Our research has been carried out in three languages, English, German and French. The project’s practical value lies in its formulation of descriptors for the assessment of the above competencies, hitherto absent from the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages due to its comprehensive nature.

Writing skills in specialized English (levels B1-C1) have been researched by the team made up from teachers of English from all three universities. Corresponding skills in French have been examined by the team of French teachers from Metropolitan University Prague and Academia de Studii Economice Bucureşti, who have, in contrast to the teachers of English, limited their research to levels B1-B2.

The team of German teachers from Metropolitan University Prague and The Technical University of Košice set out to establish how competent their students are to deal with specialized texts, what strategies they adopt and how successful they are at deciphering the texts. In the case of German, investigators have likewise restricted their research to levels B1-B2. The difference in levels between English and the other two languages was predicated on the fact that students had been typically learning French as well as German for shorter periods of time than English, and consequently had not achieved equal language competence.

The following articles deal, both theoretically and empirically, with the above-mentioned specialized language writing and reading skills in students of non-philological disciplines, familiarize the reader with our research results and propose formulations of specialized language learning descriptors. Not only can professional language teachers apply these to their pedagogical activities, but students can also draw on them for their own self-evaluation.